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Dec 30, 2010 04:42 PM

Hocking Hills fine dining [SE Ohio]

Hi, Hounds,

I'd like to take my girlfriend to the Hocking Hills for a winter birthday weekend. We both love to eat well, so, I wonder: Is it worth going to dinner somewhere like Glenlaurel or the Inn at Cedar Falls? These seem to be the finer of the area dining options, but I do want to make sure that they're not serving glorified country club food. If they are, I'll book a place with a kitchen and make our meals.

Glenlaurel Inn & Spa
Rockbridge, Rockbridge, OH 43149

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  1. We rented a cabin--very nice--at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls. We were happy with the restaurant and also happy to have our litttle kitchen for breakfast etc. I thought the spa was way overpriced so did not have any services there though it might be nice to treat your girlfriend.

    1. Sorry to glom on but I'm planning a warm weather trip to Hocking Hills and also wondered about the eats. I thought I might cook while there and wondered if there are any leads on farmers markets n the area - or locavore restaurants?

      1 Reply
      1. re: conradical

        Athens isn't too far from Hocking Hills. They have a good farmer's market.

        There are restaurants in town that have well embraced the local food movement.

      2. We've eaten at Glenlaurel three times. Each time it's been really good but each time the chef was different. Not sure what you mean by glorified country club food, but there's no rubber chicken or mass-produced steaks here. The meal is usually five courses. They don't have a liquor license so you can bring your own wine, which means that for the money, it's a really good deal. Except the cottages/crofts aren't cheap. Have heard good things about the Grouse Nest (S Bloomingville) but have never been there. Otherwise the dining choices in the area are kinda slim.

        Grouse Nest
        25780 Liberty Hill Rd, South Bloomingville, OH 43152

        Glenlaurel Inn & Spa
        Rockbridge, Rockbridge, OH 43149

        1. While I haven't had dinner at the Inn at Cedar Falls, I've had several lunches and really enjoyed them. If you're not staying there, you might want to verify whether they're serving to the public on your chosen day (I seem to recall that was an issue at least at one time). They also sometimes offer special events and cooking demonstrations I've always wanted to try.

          For what it's worth, you can find very affordable cabins at Hocking Hills State Park and nearby Lake Hope State Park, both with kitchens and open year-round. Some of the cabins at Lake Hope are more historic and include wood-burning fireplaces, which you might enjoy for a winter getaway.

          1 Reply
          1. re: intuitive eggplant

            Thanks for all the advice, Hounds! Being new to Ohio, I'm still learning the good places to eat outside Columbus.

          2. My girlfriend and I ended up staying here last weekend and had a lovely time. The breakfasts were tasty, with particularly good cinnamon-coconut granola, and some nice bread pudding-inspired options. The dinner chef was much better than the morning chef. Though his dishes were not wildly innovative (you won't find any molecular gastronomy here), they were skillfully executed, well-seasoned, well-balanced, fresh, and suited to the locale. We tried the deconstructed shepherd's pie, which had very tender lamb medallions and a beautiful, full-flavored jus that was the essence of shepherd's pie. A butternut cake appetizer served with tomato orange marmalade was delicious, though a little heavier on the marmalade than it could have been - thankfully, warm sourdough at the table helped us clean up the excess marmalade. We also had a perfect steak and fresh butternut squash ravioli in a cream sauce with cranberries and walnuts. They also served a walnut cheesecake that was very good - the walnuts were incorporated throughout the cake and crust so that a walnut flavor permeated every bite. The flourless chocolate cake was as rich and moist as it should be, though somewhat dated by being served with raspberry coulis. They also featured some local Belgian-style beers at their bar, which went very nicely with our dinner. So, while certainly not the trendiest place, the food (especially dinner) was flavorful, technically sound, and just what we wanted after a day of hiking.

            Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls
            21190 Rte 374, Logan, OH 43138

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hungry Man

              We're headed to Hocking Hills soon, and though we're not staying at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, we'd like to eat there. It turns out the restaurant is not always open for the general public, only their guests. I'm still waiting to hear from the owners/managers about that but they seem oddly unresponsive.